Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font  


Ally Condie

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page



























































  A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. | Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) | Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) | Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) | Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India | Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) | Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa | Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Copyright © 2011 by Allyson Braithwaite Condie

  Map illustration copyright © 2011 by Dave Stevenson

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, or broadcast.

  “Crossing the Bar”—By Alfred Lord Tennyson, from THE WORKS OF ALFRED LORD TENNYSON, Wordsworth Editions, Ltd, 1998.

  “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”—By Dylan Thomas, from THE POEMS OF DYLAN THOMAS, copyright © 1952 by Dylan Thomas.

  “They Dropped Like Flakes”—By Emily Dickinson, Johnson, ed., Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

  “I Did Not Reach Thee”—By Emily Dickinson, from THE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON, Thomas H. Johnson, ed., Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Condie, Allyson Braithwaite.

  p. cm.

  Sequel to: Matched.

  Summary: Seventeen-year-old Cassia sacrifices everything and heads to the Outer Provinces in search of Ky, where she is confronted with shocking revelations about Society and the promise of rebellion.

  ISBN : 978-1-101-54540-9

  [1. Government, Resistance to—Fiction. 2. Fantasy.] I. Title.

  PZ7.C7586Cr 2011

  [Fic]—dc23 2011016442

  Published in the United States by Dutton Books,

  a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

  for Ian

  who looked up

  and started to climb

  Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night


  Do not go gentle into that good night,

  Old age should burn and rage at close of day;

  Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

  Because their words had forked no lightning they

  Do not go gentle into that good night.

  Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

  Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

  Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

  And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

  Do not go gentle into that good night.

  Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

  Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

  Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  And you, my father, there on the sad height,

  Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

  Do not go gentle into that good night.

  Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  Crossing the Bar


  Sunset and evening star,

  And one clear call for me!

  And may there be no moaning of the bar,

  When I put out to sea.

  But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

  Too full for sound and foam,

  When that which drew from out the boundless deep

  Turns again home.

  Twilight and evening bell,

  And after that the dark!

  And may there be no sadness of farewell,

  When I embark;

  For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place

  The flood may bear me far,

  I hope to see my Pilot face to face

  When I have crossed the bar.



  I’m standing in a river. It’s blue. Dark blue. Reflecting the color of the evening sky.

  I don’t move. The river does. It pushes against me and hisses through the grass at the water’s edge. “Get out of there,” the Officer says. He shines his flashlight on us from his position on the bank.

  “You said to put the body in the water,” I say, choosing to misunderstand the Officer.

  “I didn’t say you had to get in yourself,” the Officer says. “Let go and get out. And bring his coat. He doesn’t need it now.”

  I glance up at Vick, who helps me with the body. Vick doesn’t step into the water. He’s not from around here, but everyone in camp knows the rumors about the poisoned river
s in the Outer Provinces.

  “It’s all right,” I tell Vick quietly. The Officers and Officials want us to be scared of this river—of all rivers—so that we never try to drink from them and never try to cross over.

  “Don’t you want a tissue sample?” I call out to the Officer on the bank while Vick hesitates. The icy water reaches my knees, and the dead boy’s head lolls back, his open eyes staring at the sky. The dead don’t see but I do.

  I see too many things. I always have. Words and pictures connect together in my mind in strange ways and I notice details wherever I am. Like now. Vick’s no coward but fear films his face. The dead boy’s sleeves are frayed with threads that catch the water where his arm dangles down. His thin ankles and bare feet glow pale in Vick’s hands as Vick steps closer to the bank. The Officer already had us take the boots from the body. Now he swings them back and forth by the laces, a sweep of black keeping time. With his other hand he points the round beam of the flashlight right into my eyes.

  I throw the coat to the Officer. He has to drop the boots to catch it. “You can let go,” I tell Vick. “He’s not heavy. I can take care of it.”

  But Vick steps in, too. Now the dead boy’s legs are wet and his black plainclothes sodden. “It’s not much of a Final Banquet,” Vick calls out to the Officer. There’s anger in Vick’s voice. “Was that dinner last night something he chose? If it was, he deserves to be dead.”

  It’s been so long since I’ve let myself feel anger that I don’t just feel it. It covers my mouth and I swallow it down, the taste sharp and metal as though I’m gnawing through foilware. This boy died because the Officers judged wrong. They didn’t give him enough water and now he’s dead too soon.

  We have to hide the body because we’re not supposed to die in this holding camp. We’re supposed to wait until they send us out to the villages so the Enemy can take care of us there. It doesn’t always work that way.

  The Society wants us to be afraid of dying. But I’m not. I’m only afraid of dying wrong.

  “This is how Aberrations end,” the Officer tells us impatiently. He takes a step in our direction. “You know that. There’s no last meal. There’s no last words. Let go and get out.”

  This is how Aberrations end. Looking down I see that the water has gone black with the sky. I don’t let go yet.

  Citizens end with banquets. Last words. Stored tissue samples to give them a chance at immortality.

  I can’t do anything about the food or the sample but I do have words. They’re always there rolling through my mind with the pictures and numbers.

  So I whisper some that seem to fit the river and the death:

  “For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place

  The flood may bear me far,

  I hope to see my Pilot face to face

  When I have crossed the bar.”

  Vick looks at me, surprised.

  “Let go,” I tell him, and at the same time we do.



  The dirt is part of me. The hot water in the corner washbasin runs over my hands, turning them red, making me think of Ky. My hands look a little like his now.

  Of course, almost everything makes me think of Ky.

  With a piece of soap the color of this month, of November, I scrub my fingers one last time. In some ways I like the dirt. It works into every crease of my skin, makes a map on the back of my hands. Once, when I felt very tired, I looked down at the cartography of my skin and imagined it could tell me how to get to Ky.

  Ky is gone.

  All of this—faraway province, work camp, dirty hands, tired body, aching mind—is because Ky is gone and because I want to find him. And it is strange that absence can feel like presence. A missing so complete that if it were to go away, I would turn around, stunned, to see that the room is empty after all, when before it at least had something, if not him.

  I turn away from the sink and glance about our cabin. The small windows along the top of the room are dark with evening. It’s the last night before a transfer; this next work assignment will be my final one. After this, I’ve been informed, I will go on to Central, the biggest City of the Society, for my final work position in one of the sorting centers there. A real work position, not this digging in the dirt, this hard labor. My three months’ work detail has taken me to several camps, but so far all of them have been in Tana Province. I had hoped to find my way to the Outer Provinces somehow, but I am no closer to Ky than I was when I began.

  If I’m going to run to find Ky, it has to be soon.

  Indie, one of the other girls in my cabin, pushes past me on her way to the sink. “Did you leave any hot water for the rest of us?” she asks.

  “Yes,” I say. She mutters something under her breath as she turns on the water and picks up the soap. A few girls stand in line behind her. Others sit expectantly on the edges of the bunks that line the room.

  It’s the seventh day, the day the messages come.

  Carefully, I untie the small sack from my belt. We each have one of these little bags and we are supposed to carry them with us at all times. The bag is full of messages; like most of the other girls, I keep the papers until they can’t be read anymore. They are like the fragile petals of the newroses Xander gave me when I left the Borough, which I have also saved.

  I look at the old messages while I wait. The other girls do the same.

  It doesn’t take long before the papers yellow around the edges and turn to decay—the words meant to be consumed and let go. My last message from Bram tells me that he works hard in the fields and is an exemplary student at school, never late to class, and it makes me laugh because I know he’s stretching the truth on that last count at least. Bram’s words also make tears come to my eyes—he says he viewed Grandfather’s microcard, the one from the gold box at the Final Banquet.

  The historian reads a summary of Grand father’s life, and at the very end is a list of Grand father’s favorite memories, Bram writes. He had one for each of us. His favorite of me was when I said my first word and it was “more.” His favorite of you was what he called “the red garden day.”

  I didn’t pay close attention to the viewing of the microcard on the day of the Banquet—I was too distracted by Grandfather’s final moments in the present to fully note his past. I always meant to look at the card again, but I never did, and I wish now that I had. Even more than that, I wish I remembered the red garden day. I remember many days sitting on a bench and talking with Grandfather among the red buds in the spring or the red newroses in the summer or the red leaves in the fall. That must be what he meant. Perhaps Bram left off an s—Grandfather remembered the red garden days, plural. The days of spring and summer and autumn where we sat talking.

  The message from my parents seems full of elation; they had received the word that this next work camp rotation would be my last.

  I can’t blame them for being glad. They believed enough in love to give me a chance to find Ky, but they are not sorry to see that chance end. I admire them for letting me try. It is more than most parents would do.

  I shuffle the papers back behind each other, thinking of cards in games, thinking of Ky. What if I could get to him with this transfer, stay hidden on the air ship and drop myself like a stone from the sky down into the Outer Provinces?

  If I did, what would he think if he saw me after all this time? Would he even recognize me? I know I look different. It’s not just my hands. In spite of the full meal portions, I’ve grown thinner from all the work. My eyes have shadows because I can’t sleep now, even though the Society doesn’t monitor our dreams here. Though it worries me that they don’t seem to care very much about us, I like the new freedom of sleeping without tags. I lie awake thinking about old and new words and a kiss stolen from the Society when they weren’t watching. But I try to fall asleep, I really do, because I see Ky best in my dreams.

  The only time we can see people is when the Society allows it. In life, on the port, on
a microcard. Once there was a time when the Society let its citizens carry around pictures of those they loved. If people were dead or had gone away, at least you remembered how they looked. But that hasn’t been allowed in years. And now the Society has even stopped the tradition of giving new Matches pictures of each other after their first face-to-face meeting. I learned that from one of the messages I didn’t keep—a notification from the Matching Department sent out to all those who had chosen to be Matched. It read, in part: Matching procedures are being streamlined for maximum efficiency and to increase optimal results.

  I wonder if there have been other errors.

  I close my eyes again, wishing I could see Ky’s face flash in front of me. But every image I conjure lately seems incomplete, blurring in different places. I wonder where Ky is now, what is happening to him, if he managed to hang onto the scrap of green silk I gave him before he left.

  If he managed to hold on to me.

  I take out something else, spread the paper open carefully on the bunk. A newrose petal comes out along with the paper, feeling like pages to my touch, its pink yellowing around the edges, too.

  The girl assigned to the bunk next to me notices what I’m doing and so I climb back down to the bunk below. The other girls gather around, as they always do when I bring out this particular page. I can’t get in trouble for keeping this—after all, it’s not something illegal or contraband. It was printed from a regulation port. But we can’t print anything besides messages here, and so this scrap of art has become something valuable.